Long Devotional for Women:
BY MRS. CHARLES COWMAN
In Streams in the Desert
"He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass" (Ps. 72:6).
Amos speaks of the king's mowings. Our King has many scythes, and is perpetually mowing His lawns. The musical tinkle of the whetstone on the scythe portends the cutting down of myriads of green blades, daisies and other flowers. Beautiful as they were in the morning, within an hour or two they lie in long, faded rows.
Thus in human life we make a brave show, before the scythe of pain, the shears of disappointment, the sickle of death.
There is no method of obtaining a velvety lawn but by repeated mowings; and there is no way of developing tenderness, evenness, sympathy, but by the passing of God's scythes. How constantly the Word of God compares man to grass, and His glory to its flower! But when grass is mown, and all the tender shoots are bleeding, and desolation reigns where flowers were bursting, it is the most acceptable time for showers of rain falling soft and warm.
O soul, thou hast been mown! Time after time the King has come to thee with His sharp scythe. Do not dread the scythe--it is sure to be followed by the shower. --F. B. Meyer
"When across the heart deep waves of sorrow
Break, as on a dry and barren shore;
When hope glistens with no bright tomorrow,
And the storm seems sweeping evermore;
"When the cup of every earthly gladness
Bears no taste of the life-giving stream;
And high hopes, as though to mock our sadness,
Fade and die as in some fitful dream,
"Who shall hush the weary spirit's chiding?
Who the aching void within shall fill?
Who shall whisper of a peace abiding,
And each surging billow calmly still?
"Only He whose wounded heart was broken
With the bitter cross and thorny crown;
Whose dear love glad words of Joy had spoken,
Who His life for us laid meekly down.
"Blessed Healer, all our burdens lighten;
Give us peace, Thine own sweet peace, we pray!
Keep us near Thee till the morn shall brighten,
And all the mists and shadows flee away!"
The public domain version of this classic devotional is the unabridged edition of Streams in the Desert.
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Long Devotional for Men:
Reasons for Giving Thanks -
This devotional was written by Jim Liebelt
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. —James 1:17
I wonder at times why it seems so easy for me to focus on the negative aspects of my life. I routinely take for granted some of the very basic blessings that God has given. How about you? This week as we have celebrated Thanksgiving, take a few moments to reflect on all of the good things that God has provided you with and give Him thanks. It just might make your day! Here’s a reminder (author unknown) that helped to spark my own thinking about how God has blessed my life:
• If you woke up this morning with more health than illness… you are more blessed than the million who will not survive this week.
• If you have never experienced battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture or the pangs of starvation… you are ahead of 500 million people in the world.
• If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead, and a place to sleep… you are richer than 75% of people in this world.
• If you have money in the bank, money in your wallet, and spare change in a dish someplace… you are among 8% of the world’s most wealthy people.
• If your parents are alive and still married… you are very rare, even in the United States.
• If you hold up your head with a smile on your face and are truly thankful… you are blessed because the majority can, but do not.
• If you prayed yesterday and today… you are blessed because you believe God does hear and answer prayer, even though you are in the minority by holding this belief.
• If you can read these words… you are more blessed than over two billion people in the world who cannot read at all.
There is no doubt that God is good and that we are blessed! Like the Psalmist, we can ask, “How can I repay the Lord for all of his goodness to me?” (Psalm 116:12) Though we can never fully repay God for his goodness, we can demonstrate our gratitude through our praise and by serving others. Today, live your life as one who has been blessed. Begin by whispering a simple “thank you” to God, in prayer. Then, demonstrate your gratitude by serving someone else, in Jesus’ name.
1. Take a few minutes and make a list of God’s blessings that you find it easy to take for granted. Carry the list with you today, as a reminder of God’s many blessings.
2. Spend some time in prayer, giving God thanks for each one of these items on your list.
Psalm 128; Psalm 84:11; Hebrews 13:15-16
This devotional originally appeared in “HomeWord with Jim Burns” on Crosswalk’s Family Devotional section. For more information about HomeWord with Jim Burns devotionals, please visit us online.
More of HomeWord with Jim Burns: http://www.crosswalk.com/devotionals/homeword/